Due to the thermal expansion coefficient mismatch (CTE) between the fiber and the matrix, high residual sresses exist in metal matrix composite systems upon cool down from processing temperature to room temperature. An interface material can be placed between the fiber and the matrix to reduce the high tensile residual stresses in the matrix. A computer program was written to minimize the residual stress in the matrix subject to the interface material properties. The decision variables are the interface modulus, thickness and thermal expansion coefficient. The properties of the interface material are optimized such that the average distortion energy in the matrix and the interface is minimized. As a result, the only active variable is the thermal expansion coefficient. The optimum modulus of the interface is always the minimum allowable value and the interface thickness is always the maximum allowable value, independent of the fiber/matrix system. The optimum interface thermal expansion coefficient is always between the values of the fiber and the matrix. Using this analysis, a survey of materials was conducted for use as fiber coatings in some specific composite systems.